Sunday 04 Dec 2016

Forbidden Foods
Jennifer Flaten

I’m interrupting this regularly scheduled column for a public service announcement. As a woman, yes, I am a woman. Really, I understand your hesitance, after all an overweight guy from America named Steve, no, not really I’m just too lazy to search it, did pretend to be a gay Syrian girl.

Not sure how he managed to pull it off, but I am sure his six figure autobiography will let me know. You must believe me. I am a white, almost middle-aged woman. Who the heck would lie about that?

If I were going to lie, I would certainly come up with a more glamorous identity than “mother from Wisconsin.” In fact, would anyone ever lie, saying they were from Wisconsin?

Keep in mind that even though I am telling the truth about my ethnicity and gender, I still reserve the right to shave pounds and years off my official driver’s license statistics. Anyway, trust me I am a woman and as a woman, I feel I can speak for women everywhere when I say, “No woman ever wants to see a picture of a guys.”

Uh, how did the recently ousted Weiner put it? Ah, yes, his “package.” That’s right; we don’t want to see unsolicited pictures of your package, ever. Moreover, just so we are 100% clear on this, we will most likely never solicit said pictures, so put the camera down Ansel Adams.

Yes, contrary to what you read in the letters to “Penthouse,” women have no desire to open their e-mail or Twitter or Facebook and see pictures of the men they love, let alone a complete stranger, displaying their goods. Nor do we care if his middle name is Seymour or not.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about much more pleasant things, such as cake! Yes, I know seems like it is a rather strange segue, but stay with me here. Since its Father’s or “what the hell am I going to get dad” Day, hey, if your dad is like my dad, you know what I mean.

Dads are notoriously hard to buy for, even the dad’s with hobbies. Mostly, because the hobbies that grown men have are expensive. Have you priced golf clubs lately? Moreover, Dads prefer gifts that do things, like grill meat, wash cars or allow them to putter.

Moms, on the other hand, take anything and keep it in a box forever, even a card made entirely of spray-painted macaroni glued to piece of recycled cardboard. I have one of those, downstairs in a box. I love it.

Not that Dads aren’t sentimental, they are and they most certainly will think fondly of you every time they use the grill tongs you gave them for Father’s Day. Just don’t expect them to actually wear the light up tie to the office. Mothers, meanwhile, wear god-awful scarf you gave them when you were eight, even though they hate scarves, in general.

Why the heck am I thinking of cake. Hha, bet you didn’t think I would ever get back to the cake. Well, because through trial and error, more error then anything else, I’ve learned that gifts of food are always a winner. Especially, if it is food that Dad really likes but it is (a) too pricey or (b) forbidden.

Every father, of a certain age, has a list of forbidden foods. I’ve made fudge. Anything combining chocolate and mint with oodles of cookies works for my dad, if not his arteries.

He also gladly accepts M&Ms and tins of mixed nuts. I have the best Dad a procrastinator could ever have. If its edible, he’s happy. This prevents me from trolling the hardware store looking for some gadget that my dad neither wants nor needs.

Best part is he will always share a bit with me.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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